Walt Whitman

(31 May 1819 - 26 March 1892 / New York / United States)

O Captain! My Captain! - Poem by Walt Whitman


O CAPTAIN! my Captain! our fearful trip is done;
The ship has weather'd every rack, the prize we sought is won;
The port is near, the bells I hear, the people all exulting,
While follow eyes the steady keel, the vessel grim and daring:
But O heart! heart! heart!
O the bleeding drops of red,
Where on the deck my Captain lies,
Fallen cold and dead.

O Captain! my Captain! rise up and hear the bells;
Rise up--for you the flag is flung--for you the bugle trills; 10
For you bouquets and ribbon'd wreaths--for you the shores a-crowding;
For you they call, the swaying mass, their eager faces turning;
Here Captain! dear father!
This arm beneath your head;
It is some dream that on the deck,
You've fallen cold and dead.

My Captain does not answer, his lips are pale and still;
My father does not feel my arm, he has no pulse nor will;
The ship is anchor'd safe and sound, its voyage closed and done;
From fearful trip, the victor ship, comes in with object won; 20
Exult, O shores, and ring, O bells!
But I, with mournful tread,
Walk the deck my Captain lies,
Fallen cold and dead.

Form: Elegy

Comments about O Captain! My Captain! by Walt Whitman

  • (3/11/2017 5:42:00 PM)

    And so now the poet is dead after his poem has sailed into fame, he greets the captain ironically death has the last laugh, I love this poem and am fascinated with the poets of yesteryear (Report) Reply

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  • Ash Immanuel (2/18/2017 9:33:00 PM)

    i like this because i learnt in my syllabus (Report) Reply

  • Sylva-onyema Uba (2/11/2017 6:47:00 AM)

    Great poem!
    Well communicated.

    (Report) Reply

  • Chandan Sarkar (1/17/2017 12:38:00 AM)

    Very lucid
    ..........oh captain...
    (Report) Reply

  • Tom Allport (12/31/2016 3:59:00 PM)

    tom allport
    a sense of achievement is devalued by the sense of loss, very sad. (Report) Reply

  • Michael Ryland (12/29/2016 4:27:00 PM)

    Mourning the death of Abraham Lincoln. Whitman here laments that his Captain is dead just as the ship has arrived in port. Lincoln was assassinated just days after Lee surrendered to Grant at Appomattox. Whitman served as a volunteer nurse during the war. Seeing the effects of battle, he was deeply affected. Whitman, through his epitaph of the fallen President, also paints the broader picture that, although the victory has been achieved, the dead remain dead. (Report) Reply

  • (11/30/2016 3:12:00 AM)

    Wonderful (Report) Reply

  • (11/13/2016 12:36:00 AM)

    I have recite this poem, during my senior years because of the event at school called the English festival.
    Upon reciting the poem I do feel the pain, as if I was the one of the crew in the ship.
    Truly amazing.
    (Report) Reply

  • Annette Aitken (10/16/2016 12:07:00 PM)

    What a great write..full of visuals..paints a wonderful picture....very enjoyable read.

    (Report) Reply

  • Benitto Pavithran (8/30/2016 1:44:00 AM)

    Marvelous..one hell of a classic! (Report) Reply

  • Eren Karadas (8/8/2016 8:08:00 AM)

    deneme deneme deneme deneme deneme deneme (Report) Reply

  • Aremo Abiodun Best (7/27/2016 2:03:00 AM)

    i really enjoy every line of the poem (Report) Reply

  • (7/21/2016 4:32:00 PM)

    Good (Report) Reply

  • Joseph Wangalibo (7/12/2016 5:10:00 AM)

    Wow! Am really touched by it (Report) Reply

  • (7/10/2016 2:20:00 AM)


    (Report) Reply

  • Maveriqué Richard (7/5/2016 11:19:00 PM)

    Nice poem. Really thoughtful, abd i love the rhyme pattern. (Report) Reply

  • (6/30/2016 5:22:00 AM)

    Does anyone know an anthology where this poem is included? (Report) Reply

    R Soos R Soos (11/20/2016 7:59:00 AM)

    This poem is in every anthology of great American poetry, and is also in Norton's anthologies. I would recommend you pick up an edition of Leaves of Grass instead. Many poems in the anthologies are duds, whereas several hours with Whitman will change your world =: -)

  • (5/27/2016 8:46:00 AM)

    -Poem slain by james poemslayer
    (Report) Reply

  • Judas Caprice (5/13/2016 12:53:00 PM)

    Dead Poets Society- loved it in the movie, love it now (Report) Reply

  • Anne Yun (4/20/2016 2:53:00 AM)

    Everytime when i read this, the most beautiful scene in the movie Dead Poets Society will come to my mind, O Captain! My Captain (Report) Reply

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# 28 poem on top 500 Poems

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Read poems about / on: father, weather, red, dream, people, heart, rose

Poem Submitted: Tuesday, December 31, 2002

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